Indian Journalists, Forest Rangers Battle “Sand Mafia”

You heard me. “Sand Mafia.”

Forest rangers in Chandigarh, India were physically attacked this week by sand-mining mobsters for the third time in a year, “expos[ing] the rampant illegal quarrying from the restricted areas in the Chandigarh periphery.”

Chandigarh is a a planned community in the extreme north of India that manages to be the capital of not one but two Indian states (Punjab and Haryana). Says Indian Express:

A team of Forest officials, led by Forest Range Officer Blawinder Singh, intercepted a tractor-trolley laden with sand illegal lifted from the forest area near Chhoti Karoran village, close to Chandigarh, but the driver and his accomplices not only manhandled and attacked the Forest officials but also managed to flee away with the illegal sand in the cover of darkness, the police said here today.

You laugh, Yankee dogs, but the sand mafia is a recurrent and growing problem in northern India. As a planned community, Chandigarh requires sand for construction projects, but the mining of sand is controlled by politically-connected mobsters who flout environmental legislation. Earlier this year, the Times of India reported that its own team of journalists was attacked by gangsters while reporting on the theft of sand from an important environmental site (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)


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